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Georgia Protests Russian Plans For Heliports In South Ossetia

TBILISI -- Georgia has protested Russian plans to build heliports in its breakaway republic of South Ossetia, RFE/RL's Georgian and Echo of the Caucasus services report.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry posted on its website on March 31 a statement protesting the plans for the South Ossetian districts of Djava and Akhalgori.

The Russian government website has announced a tender for construction of those facilities.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry condemned the announcement as part of Russia's broader military buildup in South Ossetia. It said that the build-up may lead to what it called a further violation of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe.

The statement further noted that uncontrolled flight by military helicopters in Georgian air space would pose a threat to the security of international civil aviation.

Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia shortly after Russian and Georgian forces fought a brief war in the breakaway republic in August 2008.